Vaccine debate heats up as students head back to school

Mass. was one of sixteen states that reported measles in the first half of the year

BOSTON (WWLP) – It’s that time of year when parents and students gear up for the school year ahead. Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin told 22News that although ninety percent of Massachusetts preschoolers are vaccinated, many new parents may not be familiar with the rules.

Galvin said, “the problem is that a lot of parents, perhaps new parents, are less familiar with the rules and we wanted people to know at what age they should be looking at vaccinations.”

Secretary Galvin has a new tool on his website that shows parents the recommended vaccines for their children by age – from birth to eighteen years old. As students prepare to head back into the classroom, some parents believe they shouldn’t be required by law to vaccinate their kids.

A special legislative committee is considering a bill that would allow parents to opt out of childhood immunizations. By law, all children must be vaccinated unless they have a religious or medical exemption.

Springfield Democrat Angelo Puppolo said, “Certainly, there’s some exemptions that I think are worthwhile, but I think by-in-large vaccinations work. I think it’s critically important that children have them.”

Massachusetts was one of sixteen states in the country that reported measles cases during the first half of the year.

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